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Surachate Hakparn, your friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, is back!

The Thaiger

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Surachate Hakparn, your friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, is back! | The Thaiger
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…well, according to enthusiastic reports in the Thai media. Thailand’s favourite police poster boy and friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, Surachate Hakparn, is poised to make a return to the front line. Thai media are reporting that he may be about to be appointed to the post of Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police.

In April he was side-lined from active duty after a high profile two year career when he was seldom out of the headlines, rounding up illegal immigrants, chasing down scammers and fronting photo opportunities with overstayers. He was ahead of the game when it comes to Thai policing with a team of media minders and an active social media following.

On any one day he could appear in four of five provinces around the country.

He kept remind us that he was acting on the policy of “Good guys in, bad guys out”.

Once heading up the Immigration Bureau, he started to make enemies with his internal crackdown on alleged corruption at the hundreds of immigration outposts around the country. He introduced a ‘no tip’ policy, shuffled entrenched immigration officials to inactive posts and was responsible for the big improvements at airport immigration – adding new cubicles, more staff, improving training and even adding ‘Chinese Tourist Only’ queues to help cope with the surge in Chinese tourism.

But his steady rise to the top was abruptly cut short when he was unceremoniously dumped from his high-profile post and given an unspecified job at the Operation Centre of the Royal Thai Police. The order was signed by the Thai Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda. Eventually he was posted as an ‘advisor’ in the PMs office in Bangkok.

Read the story about his sudden demotion HERE.

After a month he headed off to the US for a ‘break’ and was conspicuous by his absence ever since. No explanation has ever been forthcoming from either his superiors or Surachate himself about the reasons for his sudden career demise.

Read the story upon his return from the US HERE.

On Thursday, he was photographed visiting a temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. Reports of Surachate’s return have been unconfirmed by the government or head of police.

SOURCE: Thai Rath | Spring News

Surachate Hakparn, your friendly neighbourhood crime-fighter, is back! | News by The Thaiger

 

 

 

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Crime

Yala ramps up security after fatal shooting of volunteer ranger

Jack Burton

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Yala ramps up security after fatal shooting of volunteer ranger | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook

Following yesterday’s fatal shooting of a volunteer ranger in Thailand’s southern Yala province, security in the province’s Muang district has been stepped up. Buddhist communities are being warned to exercise “increased caution” and to be careful of strangers, as authorities are bracing for potential attacks by southern insurgents.

The volunteer ranger was identified as 43 year old Nikorn Sombatthong, who was part of the 41st paramilitary battalion. He was reportedly murdered as he arrived in front of a school in Tambon Wang Phaya at about 8:30am, after returning from neighbouring Pattani province.

People entering the district by road are being subjected to searches and identification checks by police and military personnel manning checkpoints on all the roads leading to the township. Intelligence sources say some insurgents have sneaked into the district, possibly to carry out attacks on “soft targets”.

Yala and its neighbouring provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla along the Malaysian border, are home to a decades-old separatist insurgency – which to date has claimed more lives than the Palestinian conflict in the Middle East.

Read more about Thailand’s Southern Insurgency HERE and HERE.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Business

AOT considering joint venture with Thai Airways to keep services running

Maya Taylor

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AOT considering joint venture with Thai Airways to keep services running | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The company that runs 6 of Thailand’s airports says it wants to work with Thai Airways to ensure airport services can continue while the national carrier goes through a rehabilitation process. Airports of Thailand president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn says the AOT board is in talks about a joint venture with the troubled airline to protect operations such as cargo, maintenance, repairs, and ground services at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

“The running of these three units cannot be disrupted, because that would affect the operations of Suvarnabhumi Airport.”

All Thai Airways flights have been grounded since June, with the ailing national carrier embarking on a rehabilitation process. Nitinai says once that process is complete, AOT is willing to let Thai Airways buy back its shares in airport services. A court hearing on August 17 will determine if the airline’s rehabilitation plan can go ahead without opposition. At that point, both parties can enter joint venture talks.

Nation Thailand reports that Thai Airways owes AOT around 3 billion baht. It’s understood 2 billion of that is owed to technicians at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport and has been an ongoing source of disagreement between both companies. Nitinai says his priority right now is not the recovery of this debt, but rather ensuring airport services can continue to run smoothly.

It’s understood that one suggestion in the airline’s rehabilitation plan is to separate business units such as mechanics, catering, products and mailing, to invite private investments for each group.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Long weekend sees 1.4 million domestic tourists take to the road

Maya Taylor

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Long weekend sees 1.4 million domestic tourists take to the road | The Thaiger
PHOTO: NS/Shutterstock

After months of tight restrictions on travel, the recent long weekend has given people a chance to get out and explore Thailand. And it appears they did just that, with 1.42 million residents travelling over the course of the 4 day holiday. Temples, national parks, and beaches around the country all welcomed crowds of domestic tourists, both Thai and foreign.

Although the 1.42 million is lower than the 2 million travellers usually seen on long weekends, beaches at popular destinations such as Hua Hin, Cha-am, Pattaya and Bang Saen, all reported large crowds. Other tourist attractions, including Khao Yai National Park, Khao Kho and Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, also proved popular.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, says that in addition to those travelling for holiday purposes, many used the break to return home and see relatives they would normally have seen during the Songkran period, which was postponed in April. He adds that many places were so busy it made social distancing difficult. However, he says all visitors adhered to safety measures such as mask-wearing and the use of hand sanitiser.

Coconuts reports that the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce says around 5.3 billion baht was spent over the 4 days, down by 21% for the same time last year. It predicts that around 20 million Thais will travel in the last quarter of this year. A government stimulus package for Thai people opens for registration next Wednesday in a further effort to boost domestic tourism.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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